December Travel Blogger of the Month - Cassandra

Name: Cassandra Le

Blog:The Quirky Pineapple

How many countries have you travelled to?

Oh wow, this is a tough one. I think I’ve been to about 17 countries, some being: Vietnam, Jamaica, Ecuador, Germany, and Morocco. I’ve been lucky to call two different countries my home, the United States and Spain. My parents have always been adamant about travel, visiting different cultures, and really seeing what the world has to offer! I’m thankful to them, for introducing me to this lifestyle (which I’m sure they’re complaining about now), and for teaching me about humility and humbleness everywhere I go!

December Travel Blogger of the Month - Cassandra from The Quirky Pineapple

What was your first overseas trip?

My first overseas trip was to Vietnam! My family and I went when I was in the first grade and only six years old! Today, I can’t remember too much about the trip because I was so young. I also don’t think I really took advantage of it like I should have. I was much too young to understand the significance of traveling to Vietnam with my family, visiting my Dad’s hometown, and meeting many of my aunts, uncles, and cousins who still lived there. I remember the flight was long, it was humid, there were a lot of mosquitoes and lizards, and the traffic was crazy!

I’m hoping to save enough money for my entire family and travel there together in the future. I’d like to take a good amount of time to travel throughout the country, visit both of my parents’ hometowns, re-learn Vietnamese, and meet many of the cousins that I’ve never met!

What is your favourite destination in the world and why?

Ah! I don’t know if I have a favorite destination in the whole world. There are so many places that I’ve visited that bring back some of my favorite memories, and each place always reminds me of certain points in my life. Not to get too “insightful/spiritual” but, each destination that I revisit or love, has a special significance to my journey!

A few of my favorite memories within these destinations are:

Gredos, Spain - This is where my boyfriend and I first went camping together. I had never gone camping before, and am definitely a “city gal” who likes things a certain way. So when my boyfriend told me he wanted to go camping and show me one of his favorite areas in Spain, I couldn’t say no! We grabbed a tent, a blow up mattress, and barely had anything else. It was really spur of the moment and spontaneous! I ended up loving every moment of it! We were surrounded by natural swimming pools, nature and hiking trails, and I was able to really disconnect and enjoy living in our little campsite for the weekend. I miss it ALL the time, and always want to go camping!

Guayaquil, Ecuador - This was the first trip I took without my parents, while I was studying at university. It was a volunteer trip with my school, so 11 of us and one professor, went to Guayaquil to volunteer with a local school there. I started practicing my Spanish and fell in love with the opportunity to travel, meet so many different people, and be able to share and learn in a different culture.

Toledo, Spain - Toledo is where I first moved to in Spain. It became me first real “home away from home” in a different country, language, and culture. I really fell in love with the city, the medieval architecture, and the rich history it offers. Every time I walk through the cobblestoned streets I’m always in awe at the beauty this city offers!

December Travel Blogger of the Month - Cassandra from The Quirky Pineapple

What inspired you to start a travel blog?

I’ve dabbled in blogging since I was 13 or 14 years old. That’s when I started becoming obsessed with style bloggers, lifestyle bloggers, travel bloggers, and even family bloggers! I loved reading their posts sharing their experiences, their opinions, and it ultimately inspired me to want to do the same. I then learned that you could also make money off of blogging, and I was hooked! I’ve probably created, at least, 5 different blogs before sticking with The Quirky Pineapple. I created this baby of mine during my senior year at university because I wanted to document more travels and sort of keep an online journal for when I moved abroad.

It then turned into a passion of mine, to write, post, and share my experiences and insights into traveling. I’ve now converted my travel blog into a lifestyle and travel Blog, with a heavier focus on travel and expat life.

What has been the most rewarding aspect of travel blogging?

The most rewarding aspect of traveling blogging is meeting people and connecting with others from all over the world. I’ve been connected to some other amazing travel bloggers and vloggers through different online communities, who have helped me and inspired me to pursue my blog full-time. Although I don’t get paid for blogging (yet), I’ve seen other bloggers take their website and turned it into a business of sorts, while still being able to help and inspire other people.

Another aspect is all the people who read my blog and comment on and share my posts! All the people who email me and tell me that I’ve inspired them in some way to “chase their dreams” or ask me for advice because they want to live abroad, that is the most rewarding. I ultimately want to inspire others and help them to “chase their adventure/dream” because why live your life doing something you don’t enjoy?

Name three things on your bucket list:

  1. Travel/live in New Zealand for a period of time (not sure how my fascination with New Zealand came about, but I have this feeling in the pit of my stomach that eventually I will end up traveling or living there in the future)
  2. Travel the world with my boyfriend, and experience different cultures and countries together! (We have an international relationship that makes it a bit difficult for us to live in one area together due to our passports and visas, but we have a big dream to be able to travel the world together while inspiring and helping others to do the same!)
  3. Road trip through the United States, Vietnam, and Iceland! (My boyfriend and I LOVE road trips, and it’s always been on my bucket list to road trip through these 3 countries and slowly travel through each area)

So, I think these are more goals than bucket list items… haha, oops! I’m not too sure I have a “real” bucket list of things I want to do, besides finding a job that makes me happy, fuels my creativity, and also helps people. I guess one big thing is to go skydiving one day or the diving where you jump off of a tall bridge with a bungee cord!

December Travel Blogger of the Month - Cassandra from The Quirky Pineapple

Where are you off to on your next trip?

My boyfriend and I are planning a trip to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania! It’ll be a quick weekend getaway, but I’m excited because we both have never visited this city before. We’ll only be there for two days, but just exploring another area together is always fun. We plan on eating a lot of traditional foods from Philadelphia (ie: Philly Cheesesteaks!) and exploring what the city has to offer!

Apart from travel, name three other interest/hobbies that not many people may know about you:

  1. Dancing I have loved dancing since I was a little girl. I started with ballet and tap, and then eventually switched to hip-hop in high school/university. It’s taught me to be more confident in myself, my body, and to just let loose and have fun!
  2. Style/Fashion I love clothes. I REALLY love clothes, shoes, accessories, and looking good in them! I’ve always been interested in putting together outfits to express my mood, a feeling, or whatever! I think what really started my love for blogging was wanting to becoming a style blogger!
  3. Reading restaurant reviews/researching new restaurants Not sure why I love this so much, but I LOVE researching new restaurants to try or about new restaurants in the area. I am an avid magazine reader when it comes to our local magazine that lists up and coming restaurants or hidden gems. After finding these online or through magazines/newspapers, I go and read restaurant reviews for all of them and compile a giant list of new restaurants to try!

If you were inspired by Cassandra’s travel blogging journey and how she has turned her passion into an epic travel blog, you can check out her blog The Quirky Pineapple here or on Facebook,YouTube or Instagram.

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December Travel Blogger of the Month - Cassandra from The Quirky Pineapple

Sally Cochrane

Sally is a Brisvegas (Brisbane, Australia) born travel blogger and founder of Travel Blog Squad, an online community for travel bloggers. Among many other experiences, she has skied down the Austrian Alps on Christmas day, gone for a ride in an army tank through the mud in Slovakia, woken up before dawn to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat and attended university in Mexico. Hola! Her non-travel-related interests include tea (of any and every kind), TED Talks and running at her local Parkrun.